SIIA Expands Internet Anti-Piracy Campaign with New European Monitoring & Enforcement Effort

Jun 21, 2010, 09:36 ET from Software & Information Industry Association

Software Industry's Top Association Announces New Round of Lawsuits Against Fraudulent eBay Vendors in UK & Germany

WASHINGTON, June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, today announced the filing of its first software piracy lawsuits in Europe, part of the organization's new European anti-piracy campaign.

On behalf of SIIA member Adobe Systems Inc., SIIA investigated and filed three lawsuits against online sellers in Germany and the United Kingdom who sold counterfeit or unauthorized copies of Adobe software on eBay. Because the cases are ongoing, names and seller IDs cannot be revealed at this time.

"These lawsuits represent a new front in our war on software piracy," said Keith Kupferschmid, Senior Vice President of Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement for SIIA. "SIIA has successfully tracked and pursued hundreds of U.S. software pirates, recouped millions of dollars for our member companies, and, in some cases, put the culprits in jail. With monitoring and enforcement underway in Europe, SIIA is now working to stop software pirates who swindle consumers and companies around the globe."

In January, SIIA expanded its Internet Anti-Piracy Program into Europe and began monitoring Internet sellers there. In most cases, SIIA generates leads and uses local investigators to buy products from suspected software pirates in order to confirm if the products are counterfeit. If sellers bought counterfeit software elsewhere, SIIA also launches an investigation to identify the original suppliers.

During the last three years, SIIA has filed more than 100 lawsuits against illegal eBay sellers as well as sellers on other websites dealing in counterfeit, OEM, academic, and other illegal software. Many defendants have paid thousands of dollars in damages, and, in some cases, criminal charges were pursued and defendants sentenced to jail time. SIIA has also successfully tracked and pursued the upstream sources of these products, and, as necessary, pursued those suppliers.

"If the price of software seems too low, it is probably counterfeit or otherwise illegal," continued Kupferschmid. "In these new cases, the sellers did not necessarily create the counterfeit software they sold; some purchased it cheaply from an illegitimate source and sold it again for a profit. Either way, SIIA's goal is to stop the sale of illegal software and educate all sellers to take the proper precautions to ensure they are selling only legal software."

The SIIA Internet Anti-Piracy Program aims to educate online buyers and sellers about the damage caused by illegal software. Among other things, sellers can be prosecuted, and buyers can be faced with viruses and no technical support. In addition to the Internet and auction piracy lawsuits, SIIA also seeks to protect legitimate sellers and unsuspecting buyers by publishing educational software buying guides for auction sites.

Sources can contact SIIA about a company or Web site's suspicious business practices in three ways:

For more information about the SIIA Internet Anti-Piracy Program, or to read SIIA's software buying guides, visit the Software Anti-Piracy Information page.

About SIIA Anti-Piracy Division

The Software & Information Industry Association's Anti-Piracy Division conducts a comprehensive, industry-wide campaign to fight software and content piracy. The pro-active campaign is premised on the notion that one must balance enforcement with education in order to be effective.

About SIIA

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 500 leading software and information companies. For further information, visit:

SOURCE Software & Information Industry Association